The Hon’ble HRD minister of Government of India, Shrimati Smriti Zubin Irani, visited the Symbiosis International University today, on the 15th of June, 2014 at the scenic Lavale campus in Pune, giving it the rare distinction of being the first University to be visited by the Minister after being sworn in. The Lavale Campus, home to many reputed colleges like SIBM, SITM, SIMC, SSBF and Symbiosis School Of Photography welcomed Mrs. Irani in their own unique fashion, with all the international students getting dressed up in their national costumes and presenting her their own national flags as a token of respect.
While students inside the campus left no opportunity to show their enthusiasm with the incessant clapping and hooting, students from other campuses like Noida, Nasik and Bangalore didn’t miss out on the opportunity either through means of video conferencing. Accompanying the HRD minister was Mr. Anil Shirole, Member of Parliament of the Pune Loksabha Constituency in the current Government.
Present on the stage along with the two dignitaries, were Padma Bhushan Dr. S.B. Mujumdar, the founder and President of Symbiosis International University, Mrs. Vidya Yeravdekar, Principal Director of Symbiosis University and Dr. Rajani Gupte, Vice Chancellor of Symbiosis University. The welcome speech given by Mrs. Vidya was a clear reflection of the pride she felt regarding Mrs. Irani being the first woman to be sworn in as a minister on the cabinet level and the positive signal it sends out to the millions of young, ambitious women in India.
The speech given by Mrs. Irani herself was short and effective. She talked about the plans of the ministry to increase the employability of almost three lakhs graduates passing out every year and the committees being put in place to increase accountability of the government, that will comprise of not politicians, but student representatives and eminent personalities from the education profession.
Due to the paucity of time and her scheduled meet with Prime Minister, the Question and Answer Session with the students got cancelled, much to the disappointment of the students. The Minister kind of made up for it by inviting the senior officials of SIU to meet her in Delhi next weekend along with the student representatives and promised to return back to the campus as soon as possible to have the overdue Q&A session where the students could “don the hat of Mr. Arnab Goswami”.